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Salt, Light and Me, by Phil Ware

    The first message was frank and to the point. The second message was… WOW! The expletive laced second message sizzled with anger and resentment against Christians. It was written by an anti-believer in our Guestbook. He was riled, hacked and angry at Christians for what he believed was their gross hypocrisies and the atrocities against humankind. The litany was familiar, bringing up the complicity of many in the German “Christian” community to Hitler’s hate campaign against the Jews and other horrible things in “our” history.

    There is no doubt that we can find much to be ashamed of among those who claim to be Christian, both in the past and present. In almost every era there have been embarrassing lapses by Christian leaders. Horrible hypocrisies have led to the harm of innocent people by groups of those claiming to follow Jesus to be the Lord.

Where Christianity has gone, people have been blessed.
    On the other hand, over the centuries, no one has come remotely close to the amount of benevolence, charity, nurture, hospital care, orphan care, magnanimous deeds of love and kindness, and good that have been done in the name of Jesus Christ. Where Christianity has gone, people have been blessed. Yes we have had our hypocrites, but two points need to be made: first, many Christians fail because of weakness and not because of hypocrisy; and second, you are still bad for doing bad things even if you're not hypocritical about it. To put it more bluntly, hell will be equally populated by those who were blatantly evil and those who were hypocritically evil.

    As believers, we need to confront the first issue in our own individual lives. When we speak for Jesus and blow it, the world notices. We are the Jesus that many see, so let’s show them Jesus with his power at work in us, not just our fleshly lapses. To put it in cornbread English, it is time for us to quit presuming on grace to excuse behavior in ourselves that is wrong. Second, we are called to be salt and light—in other words, we are to stand out, not because we mess up and resemble those around us, but because we live in a loving, holy, and an exemplary way.

    There will always be enemies of the cross and the message of Jesus. Satan will see to it that the message grace will not grow unopposed. But we must not let that reality rob from us the vigilance of character and holiness reflective of our Father in heaven. If we want to lead others to Jesus, our walk has to match our talk and we must be willing to put our life where our mouth is!

Live good lives! 1 Peter 2:12

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